I was just digging through some old photo albums today and this folded up note fell out. It’s a six page list of ‘guidelines and explanations’ (my own obnoxious words) that I wrote up for my mother and father-in-law when they offered to care for our daughter so that I could take a once-in-a-lifetime ten-day trip to Italy with my mom.
This was eight years ago. My daughter had just turned one and we had just moved into a new house the week before. There were boxes everywhere and the normal craziness of living with a one year old. Even with all that, my in-laws were kind enough to volunteer to fly from Arizona to Seattle to watch her so that my mom and I could go on a food and wine tour across Italy. I am still grateful that they gave us this gift of their time and now I am even more grateful that they didn’t either bolt for the door or laugh in my face when they saw what follows.
To ‘help’ them out, I put together what I thought was a helpful, information-packed list of all of the critical need-to-know items that they (and my daughter) would need to survive the next ten days. As I read it now, eight years (and a second kid) later, I realize how thoroughly amusing this instruction sheet must have been to two intelligent, loving parents/grandparents who already raised two boys of their own.
What follows is the body of the note and what I can only imagine was going through their heads as they read it.
I share this with all the moms out there. It’s for the new moms who are preparing to write your own lists of ‘guidelines and instructions’ for your first time away from your baby. And it’s for the moms like me, with older kids, but who can still remember that first time we handed off our sweet babies as we ventured out of arms reach for the first time.
Save those notes. You’ll look at them some day and they’ll remind you of how far you have come…and that you should probably step it up a notch for your in-laws’ Christmas present this year.
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*Follow up* I received some interesting ‘feedback’ (criticism) from moms who do not think it’s appropriate to take a vacation without your kids. I wrote this follow up post for them:
And in case my in-laws didn’t think I was crazy enough, here’s a look at the 3 hours text conversation that I *thought* I was having with my father in law.
Last, but not least, my husband just released a new “can’t put down” thriller called, “Crash Alive.” Come read my exclusive, somewhat sober, interview with him, (or at least how I think it would have gone if he had been awake.)
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xo - Susanne